Saturday, November 21, 2009

2 + 2 = And Who Are We To Say?

I see that while I was playing hooky, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi popped up in The Detroit News urging all of us not to “jump to conclusions” about Nidal Hasan. (“Faith and Policy: Don't jump to conclusions on Fort Hood shootings”).

Well, really he wants more than that we don’t jump to conclusions. He doesn’t want us to run, walk, Big Wheel, crawl, or glacially creep to conclusions, either. He doesn’t want us to reach any conclusion at all—especially the obvious one. When you get to the part of the problem where you’ve figured out 2 + 2 = X, you need to erase X, put down your chalk, go back to your seat and put your head down on your desk.

Elahi’s op-ed columns follow no traceable logic, just gurgling brooklike things running with non sequiturs and, frankly, bald-faced lies. This tactic makes counterargument impossible. For instance, things like this:

If reports about Hasan performing poorly, behaving strangely and doubting his interest in the job were true, then instead of blaming 1.5 billion Muslims and asking them all to apologize for what Hasan did, it is better to learn from this experience and give the right job to the right people and stop discriminating against the thousands of Muslim men and women in the military.

There simply is no response to a sentence like that, other than to put the paper down and go have a nice dinner.

Still, I can’t pass up remarking on a couple of his other nougaty observations.

Like when Elahi says that, proportional to Fort Hood’s total record of war deaths, Hasan’s jihad death-list is so small, it’s a wonder anyone even cares about it at all, let alone why Hasan killed them.

“Although 13 lives are a huge loss,” writes Elahi, “remember that the same base has already lost at least 545 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Okay, let’s all remember that, and we’ll even take his word for it on the number of Ft. Hood soldiers killed in battle. I don’t see how this puts us farther from the conclusion that Muslim violence is a deadly threat.

How many of the killers of those 545 Ft. Hood soldiers shouted “Allahu Akhbar!” while they were pulling the trigger or setting off the IED? Yelled it just like Hasan did, and for the same reasons.

You can’t minimize the tragic irony of how 13 soldiers were killed returning from a combat zone, to what should have been a safe, stateside army base. But they still died as soldiers killed in the same war we’re fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the same enemy.

Elahi also thinks he can strip Hasan of his jihad good-conduct medal by tut-tutting his last-minute lapse into unchastity: “Obviously he couldn't be both a devout Muslim and a frequenter of a local strip joint. Just saying God is great is not enough to make someone a perfect Muslim or Christian.”

To which I can only say, first, I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly that, obviously, shouting “Allahu Akhbar!” does not make one a perfect Christian. Not that there aren't some perfectly silly ecumenical types who are going to try it, anyway.

But this is just more of Elahi’s unlogic. Does someone have to prove Hasan was a “perfect Muslim” before we’re allowed to conclude that Hasan’s massacre was an act of jihad?

The question of whether or not a devout Muslim can get lap dances I leave to Islamic experts, and to the strip-club owners in east Dearborn.

The better question is whether or not there are mediocre, underachieving Muslims being told by their spiritual leaders that they might still qualify for those 72 wide-eyed lap dancers in Paradise, or, in the alternative, escape “the torments of the grave” in punishment for their sins, if they will only commit a single sanctifying act of homicidal jihad?

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